Dark Reality - Ukranian Hall (1985)
Late 1984 - mid 85:
Lineup: Eric Scott - Vocals, Gary Phillips – Drums, Andy Turpen – Bass, Chris McNicol – Guitar.
Andy came in late 84/early 85, would have been my senior year in high school. It’s kind of funny, but I knew Andy when I lived in Flint and went to Neithercut elementary, I actually have a few photos of our 6th grade class. I was a good friend with the Billings, Brad and Brian, who lived down the street from and knew Andy. I used to live in this shitty apartment complex called Westgate off of Atherton, I remember seeing Mike Grosklaus around, he used to be friends with the Mike Mosack who lived in the same apartment complex, man I was only 11 or 12 riding these shitty plastic freeformer and banana skateboards, while Grosklaus was riding around on this “huge” wooden skateboard (for the time, since big decks weren’t in fashion around 1978 or so), Mike kind of scared me, he was a big guy and kind of intimidating a little, at least to a kid, which I definitely was.
I would talk to Andy at shows and he mentioned he was learning bass and wanted to get something together. George wasn’t really happy playing punk. So Andy slid right in easily. Dark Reality was definitely a huge leap in song writing, for Andy and myself. Andy was really into the Bad Brains and had this killer bass riff he’d written, emulating a Bad Brains feel… it was perfect, that song started our little jaunt together as a band. We played a few shows and wrote some good music and then Brian left Dissonance, it was a natural leap for me to merge over to that band. Eric had graduated the year before and was feeling life’s pressures at home and out of home, Gary was just starting High School and pursuing other musical interests, for he was a phenomenal drummer and sought after.
Dissonance was great, I had been a huge fan since their beginnings and already knew some of their musical catalog. I was a little timid around Phill and Tanya though, they really seemed like adults tome, and I really looked up to Phill. I’ll never forget something Phill said to me in the midst of my being with them, he knew where I was at in that point in my life and he said, “Chris, do whatever you need to do to take care of yourself and take whatever path that is, even if it isn’t with music or this band, maybe going off to college, to just do it, not let anything hold you back”. Those words speak more sharply now than they did to my young tender ears, keep in mind I graduated at 17 and was still pretty young and immature. In retrospect I think he may have realized the shuffle I was experiencing at home, for I had moved at least every two years since I was born, at least until high school, where I had a solid 3 and ½ years there.
Joining the band was the most exciting time in my life, at the time, and there were plans of the tour in 1985 with 7 Seconds to the west and back, and I’d already played the Kishma Grotto gig and one in Grand Rapids, to pretty good crowds. We were working on some new songs, I wrote the music for “Cruise Control”, actually started that one in Dark Reality…